Pullias: Make your voice heard

Tue, 11/24/2009 - 4:28pm
By: Letters to the ...

As the election for runoff candidates quickly approaches this Dec. 1, and no matter who your favorite candidates are, please exercise your right to vote and be heard. There are so many issues the city has faced over the years that have been influenced by that voice and equally influenced by a lack of it. The same holds true next week.

Your job doesn’t begin and end at the voting booth. After the election is over, continue to use your voice and hold council accountable. Whether you attend meetings, email, participate in surveys, workshops or forums, use your power as a citizen. It will make a difference.

Over the last four years I have seen the power of that voice effect change. I have also seen the lack of it have an equally powerful effect.

Most recently, neighbors in our park areas attended the Nov. 5 council meeting, wanting to be heard on their view of the proposed cellphone towers. Council got the message loud and clear that they better tread softly when considering such proposals and make sure the citizens are part of the process.

The Callula Hill proposed residential development in our industrial park is another example where our voice made a difference. Individuals along with the Peachtree City Civic Association came together and presented the viewpoint of its members to council, and that project is at a standstill.

TDK Boulevard was halted because of citizen outcry.

The Wilshire neighborhood and the businesses on the south side of Ga. Highway 74 South came together to halt the building of a Lowe’s or other big box across the street from Holly Grove Road.

Citizen uproar over the placement of a Goodwill store where our “Baby Kroger” used to be was highly effective.

On the other hand, there have also been many occasions where a lack of citizen input had an equally powerful effect.

For example, the West Village annexation plan adopted in May of 2007 could have been such a benefit for the entire city. As currently planned, it serves to give the city MacDuff Parkway in exchange for residential development at far too high density to fit Peachtree City’s comprehensive plan.

The citizens of the current West Village were well represented at that meeting, but the rest of the city was not.

The village forums that were held in 2007 in each village to get citizen input on the update of our comprehensive plan were for the most part poorly attended. The comprehensive plan is absolutely critical to our city’s future.

A second round of forums will be held before the plan is completed in 2012, and my hope is that they will be packed with citizens this time around.

In July of 2008, the multi-family housing moratorium in place for the city was lifted to accommodate looking at a plan for townhomes and condos on Wieland’s 89 acres in the West Village. There is also a four-acre power substation in the center of this parcel. Hardly appropriate for residential zoning. Yet the moratorium was lifted for this parcel, and it is still lifted to this day.

Clearly we need to elect people that will serve the people on council. But we also have a responsibility to ensure that they do just that. History has shown that the more the citizens vocalize the better the outcome. No matter what the issue.

Election Day this Dec. 1 is no different. Please be informed and vote to let everyone know who you choose to lead this city into its next 50 years.

A vote for me is a vote for someone dedicated to a quality comprehensive plan update, preservation of our green spaces, positive governing that advocates for the people, and practical decision-making that puts what makes this city so special, first.

I am unique in that I have listened to the citizenry over the last four years and know what you value. I have seen how the city operates and have been proud to contribute and vocalize on its behalf.

I hope that you will entrust me with your vote in the runoff Dec. 1. But be assured, new council of 2010, whether I am fortunate enough to be amongst you or keeping you in check from the wings, the voice of this citizen will continue to be there to make sure you do right by this town.

Happy Thanksgiving, Peachtree City.

Beth Pullias

PTC Candidate Post 1


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